20 years of ISAs: The fund managers there on day one (and still going strong)

Laura Suter
18 March 2019

•    53 funds have a 20-year track record with the same fund manager at the helm
•    Of the 20 largest funds:
o    Hugh Young has been in situ the longest with 33 years on the Aberdeen Standard Asia Pacific & Japan Equity fund
o    All funds have beaten their peer group performance
o    The best performer is Giles Hargreave on the Marlborough Special Situations fund with a total return of 2,470%
o    Smaller companies and Emerging Markets have delivered the best returns
•    Full list of the 20 largest funds who’ve had the same manager running them for more than two decades is below

Laura Suter, personal finance analyst at investment platform AJ Bell, comments:

“The average fund manager runs a fund for five years, so it’s pretty rare to find managers running the same fund for 20 years. The benefit of investing with a manager who has been running the same fund for two decades or more is that they will have invested through all market cycles, having experienced downturns as well as bull markets. These managers will also know their investment markets inside out, they will have been burnt by their past investment errors and will hopefully be wise to these traps in the future, and will know the companies in their sectors inside out. 

“The downside of this experience is that some investors might be put off investing with older managers for fear they’ll have lost their hunger for investing and become more cautious. Investors can check for signs of this by comparing the type of companies the fund manager is investing in now, compared to previous years. They should also be aware of contingency planning, as retirement is a real prospect with some managers who have been running portfolios for a long time. 

“The data shows the benefit of squirreling away money, investing it for the long-term and leaving the money untouched. All the fund managers highlighted have beaten their peer group over the same period of time, and some by dramatic amounts. 

“John Chatfeild-Roberts and Algy Smith-Maxwell have more than doubled the returns of their peer group on the Jupiter Merlin Worldwide and Growth portfolios, while Harry Nimmo has delivered almost double his peer group average on the Standard Life Investments UK Smaller Companies fund.

“The figures also show how amazingly well funds focused on small companies have done – over the past 20 years the average UK small companies fund has delivered more than 550% return, but the long-serving managers in our list have handed investors nearer 1,000% return. Giles Hargreave at Marlborough Special Situations has rewarded investors with a seriously impressive 2,470% return over that time. 

“The small companies market historically has grown faster than larger companies and there is a far larger pool of investments for managers to choose from, while managers also argue that there are fewer analysts covering the area making it easier for them to hunt out an undiscovered gem. With that opportunity comes risk, as there are likely to be bigger scale failures in the small companies market, meaning an experienced fund manager is essential.” 

The fund managers who’ve been running your money for 20 years

Fund

Manager Tenure

Fund Manager

Fund Size

20-year performance (%)

Peer group 20-year performance

Aberdeen Asia Pacific & Japan Equity

Aberdeen Asia Pacific Equity

Aberdeen New Dawn Investment Trust

33

31

29

Hugh Young

£1.1bn in total

583.1%

885.9%

1,311.2%

400.3%

579.0%

174.7%

Carmignac Patrimoine

29

Edouard Carmignac

£12.5bn

347.2%

163.9%

Aberforth Smaller Companies Trust plc

28

Alistair Whyte & Richard Newbery

£1.1bn

928.9%

194.5%

City of London Investment Trust

27

Job Curtis

£1.4bn

248.8%

78.1%

The Mercantile Investment Trust

25

Martin Hudson

£1.5bn

961.4%

92.6%

Herald Investment Trust plc

25

Katie Potts

£809m

545.20%

300.3%

JPM Emerging Markets Investment Trust

JPM Emerging Markets

25

21

Austin Forey

£2.3bn in total

1,034.1%

721.1%

1,015.8%

541%

Worldwide Healthcare Trust

23

Sven H Borho

£1.4bn

1,691.4%

481.7%

Schroder Asia Pacific

23

Matthew Dobbs

£715m

1,044.60%

174.7%

Invesco Corporate Bond (UK)

23

Paul Causer

£4.3bn

186.3%

127.3%

Standard Life Investments UK Smaller Companies

22

Harry Nimmo

£1.3bn

995.8%

555.3%

Legg Mason IF Japan Equity

22

Hideo Shiozumi

£917m

614.5%

148.7%

Jupiter Merlin Income Portfolio
Jupiter Worldwide Portfolio
Jupiter Growth Portfolio

21

John Chatfieild-Roberts and Algy Smith-Maxwell

£4.5bn in total

217.2%
361.9%
388.5%

114.8%
188.4%
163.9%

BlackRock GF World Mining

21

Evy Hambro

£3.7bn

668.4%

260.4%

Lazard Emerging Markets

21

James Donald

£1.1bn

621.9%

541.0%

Liontrust UK Smaller Companies

21

Anthony Cross

£864m

954.6%

555.3%

Morgan Stanley US Growth

21

Dennis Lynch & Sam Chainani

£1.9bn

395.9%

198.8%

Threadneedle Property

20

Chris Morrogh

£1.6bn

351.6%

151.1%

Premier Multi-Asset Distribution

20

David Hambidge

£1.4bn

163.2%

114.8%

Marlborough Special Situations

20

Giles Hargreave

£1.4bn

2,470.3%

555.3%

Source: AJ Bell. Data accurate to 08/03/19. These are the 20 largest funds with fund managers that have been in situ for at least 20 years.

Laura Suter
Personal Finance Analyst
Laura Suter is personal finance analyst at AJ Bell. She is a multi-award winning former financial journalist, having specialised in investments. Laura joined AJ Bell from the Daily Telegraph, where she was investment editor. She has previously worked for adviser publications Money Marketing and Money Management, and has worked for an investment publication in New York. She has a degree in Journalism Studies from University of Sheffield.
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